Saturday, 31 May 2008

THE LOVE OF JESUS


O Lord, Thy love’s unbounded,

So sweet, so full, so free;

My spirit does Thee homage

Since love has reached to me.


I see in all Thy pathway

As here to heal and bless,

In glorious demonstration

Thy love for righteousness.


And heaven was delighted

As God the Father saw

One who, in spirit, uttered

Oh, how I love Thy law!”


I see in every footstep,

As moving to fulfil

All that must be accomplished,

Love for Thy Father’s will.


How Thou didst love His purpose -

Willingly Thou didst go

Till all thing should be finished

Through toil and pain and woe.


For Thou didst love Thy Father

And daily didst rejoice

As wakening each morning

To hear the Father’s voice.


And Thou didst love the brethren

Thy Father gave to Thee -

We hear Thee pray concerning

Those Thou hast given Me...”


Thy love for Thine assembly,

Thy helpmate and Thy wife,

Led Thee to give up all things,

Even Thy precious life.


For where was love more vivid

Than on Golgotha’s tree?

Love that was undiminished,

Love that has made me free.


Love that will last for ever,

Love that surrounds me now,

Love of a Man in glory,

Love that has made me bow.


The first two lines are borrowed from J N Darby's hymn - I simply wanted to develop the theme in a different way..


Friday, 30 May 2008

PARABLE


“My pain is great, my wounds are sore,

My life bleeds to its end.”

“I’ve come to care for you, to pour

Oil on your wounds, my friend.”


“I faint, I feel my spirit pine:

My soul is reft by strife.”

“My friend, I’ve come to pour you wine

To stimulate your life.”


“I have no shelter, can’t begin

The journey to my home.”

“I’ll bring you safely to the inn -

There is no need to roam.”


“I lie within a world of harm

And cannot be released.”

“My friend, I’ll bear you on my arm

To set you on my beast.”


“My money and my goods are lost;

I cannot pay a fee.”

“Do not despair, my friend - the cost

Has all been borne by me.”


“Out of this inn what shall I do?

When I am gone - what then?”

“The innkeeper will care for you

Until I come again.”


“My Friend - how I shall miss your face!

Why must you go away?”

“I’m going to prepare the place

Where, with me, you shall stay.”

Thursday, 29 May 2008

COLOUR



Blue -

Thus He appeared to God:

The heavenly Man.


Purple -

Least imperious, but

Most imperial Man.


Scarlet -

God has distinguished

The most distinctive Man.


Byssus -

This was the Man who most displayed

Fineness and purity.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

GOSPEL

"Though selfish souls relax in sin

My word will not be stilled:

Go to the highways, bring men in,

That My house may be filled."

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

LAND


I have glimpsed God’s land of promise which no taint of sin can blight,

I am suited by the Father to that place of saints in light,

By the Spirit I am strengthened and by Christ I am allured

To make progress to the portion which transcendent love secured.


I am fed on Christ who humbly once descended from above,

On His suffering and dying in infinitude of love,

On the Lord in resurrection as presented to His own,

And on Him, God’s well-beloved, who is on the Father’s throne.


When established in the fulness of His death for me I stand

In the dignity of sonship, in the finest of the land;

As complete in Christ and drawing from Him as my only root

I may rest in satisfaction - God will gain abundant fruit.

Monday, 26 May 2008

VOICE

He did not speak in the tempest,

He did not speak in the fire;

He did not speak in the earthquake,

He was not speaking in ire.

He spoke - and His ransomed saints rejoice:

He spoke in a soft and gentle voice.


To saints the Saviour has ransomed

He speaks in accents of grace;

It touched the hearts of lost sinners

And pierced their hard carapace.

He speaks and His folded sheep rejoice

Having learned to discern their Shepherd’s voice.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

OIL

The substance of anointing was the oil

Drawn from the fatness of the olive tree

To honour God and man, by patient toil.


And oil gave light. The anointed priest could see

The artefacts which decked the holy shrine

Displaying craftsmanship of high degree.


And olive oil was mingled in the fine

Flour of the choice oblation in his hand;

The finest wheaten flour men could refine.


Saturday, 24 May 2008

PRISON


They put Paul in a prison

And they clapped him in a chain;

The devil thought, “I’ve got him,

And he’ll never serve again”.

Did Paul become despondent

Or did he make a fuss?

He just sat and wrote the epistle

To the saints in Ephesus.

Friday, 23 May 2008

JOTHAM’S PARABLE

The trees resolved that they should choose

Their own anointed king -

A king they would not dare refuse

To serve in everything.


Asking the olive they began:

No, I will not forsake

My oil which honours God and man

For my own title’s sake”.


The fig-tree they asked secondly:

I will not leave fruit

And sweetness for a king’s display

Which will not contribute”.


Thirdly, they spoke unto the vine:

I have new wine to please

Both God and man, so I decline

To wave above the trees”.


But finally they asked the thorn:

Have confidence in me;

Rest in my shade. But if you scorn

Fire will devour each tree”.


Thursday, 22 May 2008

FACE


No face could be marred

As His, because no face was

As perfect as His.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

HIM WHO LOVES US


O all ye ransomed throng

Life up your joyful song:

Honour and praise belong

To Him who loves us!


He washed our sins away

And saved from Satan’s sway:

Lift a fresh song today

To Him who loves us!


He made us share His feast,

Made each a royal priest:

Let praises be released

To Him who loves us!


Consciously loved by Him

Whose glory will not dim

Let constant praises brim

To Him who loves us!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

PRIVILEGES

Chosen in Christ before the world began,

Redeemed through the munificence of grace,

Associated with the heavenly Man.


Given the Earnest of a settled place,

Clothed in the worth of One raised from the dead,

Enregistered in an undying race,


United by the Spirit to the Head,

Forming a part of the illustrious bride,

In this dry wilderness refreshed and fed,


Rejoicing in the food which will abide,

Waiting to share Christ’s glory by His side.

Monday, 19 May 2008

LOVE

God loves those

On whom, in His sovereign purpose,

He has set His heart.


Christ loves those

Who are given to Him

By the Father.


The Father loves those

Who have affection

For the Son.


The Spirit loves those

In whom His activities

Have formed Christ.


The saints love those

Who are associated with

The heavenly Man.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Saturday, 17 May 2008

TIME

Before God’s earliest actions in creation had begun

The One we know as Father loved the One we know as Son.


Before God made our planet as a dwelling for mankind,

The Man who shed His precious blood was in the Father’s mind.


Before man’s course of sin and disobedience had its start

I had a status as a son, within the Father’s heart.


**********

After God’s operations in the realms of time are done

Our God and Father will receive the kingdom from the Son.


After rebellion’s last defeat when everything is blest

God’s tabernacle will be there and all will be at rest.


After He has disposed of worlds affected by sin’s taints

God will have Christ as source of joy - and Christ formed in the saints.


**********

Now God is working on the earth where Christ was crucified

That in the hearts of ransomed saints Christ might be magnified.


Now through the Son and Spirit’s work in testimonial ways

Saints are secured, and formed like Christ, to give the Father praise.


Now saints rejoice to be for Christ where He has been despised

While features of assembly light are being realised.


Friday, 16 May 2008

BLESSING


...Every blessing,

I can name one - that I know

Secrets of God’s mind.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

NO ONE ELSE


No one else has set me free;

No one else secured my heart;

No one else draws me apart:

No one else has died for me.


Some may give a high degree,

Some provide profound advice,

Some give presents of great price:

No one else has died for me.


No one else will hear my plea;

No one else can meet my need;

No one else will balm or feed:

No one else has died for me.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

CHRIST AS THE TRUE SOLOMON


In the subversion of man,

Satan and death;

In the promotion of another

Manhood, Lord,

We see wisdom.


In the assembly,

An administration of blessing,

Where Thou hast a dwelling

We see

The house that Thou hast built.


The food of Thy table!

What variety we have in Thee:

An oblation, a passover,

Peace-offering,

Fresh ears, baked loaves -

All to our taste.


Persons of another marque

From worldlings, in dignity,

Act as children of wisdom

Portraying

The deportment of Thy servants.


We can appreciate

As the angels can

The all-various wisdom of God

In the order of service of Thy servants

Which the Chief Musician ordered.


In their needs - Christ

For coats of skin;

In their testimony - Christ

For armour;

In their privileges - Christ,

The Best Robe:

What apparel for Thy servants!


Men who have had

A vine before them,

Who have admired its growth,

Relished the lush grapes,

Their wine for God,

Are Thy cupbearers.


But what an acme

Of grandeur, a zenith

Of accomplishment, what

An ascent:

Lord, Thou art He who leads

Many sons to glory!

Monday, 12 May 2008

CALEB

The destroying angel

Was not a type to you -

The blood of the blameless lamb,

And its flesh,

Were a sober reality.


The congealed sea

Was close to you - the cloud

Was in your vision. So were

Living and dying pursuers.

The song was in

Your ears and mouth and heart.


Bitter water, sweet water,

Spring water and rock water:

You experienced them all.


You were there

As they worshipped Jehovah:

Where were you

When they worshipped the calf?

Guilty or not you must have learned

The heart of man.


Then that great journey

Up by the Negeb,

Up into the hill country,

To see the Land

What it is.


What is it?

Hebron, which anticipated Zoan;

And the Valley of the Bunch of Grapes.

Returning you bore substance -

This is the fruit of it -

As it was in your heart.


What was your disappointment

When you trudged on

Thirled to the doomed people,

A broken-hearted man,

Bonded to a fresh generation,

Who could tell them the Land’s terrain.


You did not evade

The serpent, the well,

The Jordan.

You would not have wished to.


Jehovah has kept me alive,

As He said...

Give me this mountain

Of which Jehovah spoke."


What joy for you to see in the land

The new generation;

To disappear from view

As a blesser.


Sunday, 11 May 2008

HAND

Lord, keep me underneath Thy hand

Secure from harm;

Without Thee I cannot withstand

Storm or alarm.


Lord, keep me underneath Thy hand

Guided by Thee

Finding as under Thy command

Thy path for me.


Lord, keep me underneath Thy hand

Both warmed and blessed

Where in Thy love I understand

The way that’s best.


Saturday, 10 May 2008

PATIENCE


Because I lock

The door He has to knock;

He has to wait

Because I bar the gate;

Because I wall

Him out He has to call.


Although I mock,

In patience, He will knock;

And He will wait

If my reply is late;

His love will call

When my response is small.


Lord, I unlock

My heart, break down the wall,

Unhinge my gate;

Thou shalt no longer wait

Or knock, or call:

Lord, lead me to Thy flock.

Friday, 9 May 2008

GO FORTH TO HIM

Out of a camp which He has left,

Where man’s religiousness is deft,

Which does not feel itself bereft,

Go forth to Him.


Into an empty wilderness

Where Satan’s powers cannot oppress

The refugees God loves to bless

Go forth to Him.


Knowing the glory of the grace

Which caused the Saviour to abase

Himself to take the sinner’s place

Go forth to Him.


Not only knowing His strong arm

To save from hazard and alarm,

Enamoured by His worth and charm

Go forth to Him.


Gathered with those who own His claim

And thus are faithful to His name,

Despising the reproach and shame

Go forth to Him.


Thursday, 8 May 2008

PRAYER

Perhaps each morning and each night you thank God for His gifts

And bundle worries up to Him like people put on lifts;

And God is pleased to hear your prayer - but wouldn’t it be greater

To flow them up all day - like people on an escalator?


Wednesday, 7 May 2008

LIGHT


If life around seems grim

With all-embracing dark;

If Christians’ light grows dim

And gutters to a spark

Lift up your eyes and see afar

The shining of the Morning Star.


Among His faithful saints

The love of Christ gives light

Excluding Satan’s feints

To lead them into night;

Within the heart of every one

Shines gloriously the risen Sun.


His sweetness does not cloy

But makes our spirits full;

He makes our souls enjoy

The principle of rule;

His warmth surrounds with its embrace

Suffusing all our hearts with grace.


And His assembly shines

With God’s own glory’s rays:

The Spirit’s wise designs

Will soon appear in day

But in the night she rules for Him

Whose light towards her is never dim.


Where Light which has no taints

Has once, in beauty, been

Now all Christ’s chosen saints

Are lights in a dark scene:

While patiently His people wait

With variant lights they scintillate.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

MAN

We have sinned, and the pain of this

Cross is just. How can

We make any claim? But this Man

Has done nothing amiss.


We have sinned - whether beginner,

Runner, finisher, our race

Has been perverse, contrary to grace:

Yet, this Man receives sinners.


We have sinned - and sins release

Turmoil: outwith, against God, or men;

Within untwisting, twisting again,

But, this Man shall be peace.

Monday, 5 May 2008

THUS FAR

Thus far
And no
Farther
For here shall thy proud waves
Be stayed – not always
At the cliff wall
But often in the beaches
And the mothering arms of a bay
Yielding to the tide,
Taking the force, but finally,
Holding the line;
Sometimes meeting, turning, eddying
In the estuary's flow
Allowing the far valleys to fill and fill with water
Till the turn
Then rushing forward along with the river's flood.
Thus far
Thus are God's ways:
Letting.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

RUTH


To move out of Moab

Into Israel meant

The crossing of Jordan.


In the House of Bread why

Just gleaning? Naomi

Guided her appetite.


A hen gathers her own

Chicks – but grace protected

Ruth as an orphaned chick.


Bethlehem, House of Bread,

Was not enough – she found

The mighty Man of wealth:


A man who had resource

To meet her need – whose love

Would cause him to spend it.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

RUNES

It will not peter out in mud or heather,

That Way.


It will not fail you in the earthquake,

That Rock.


It will open for you the route to succulent pastures,

That Door.


It will be firm for you in the hurricanes,

That Fortress.


It will show you the way in which to walk,

That Lamb.


It will be your safety in times of stress, to have

That Shepherd.


He will carry you in His bosom

This Friend.

Friday, 2 May 2008

FOR A WEDDING


Launch your boat out together,

Friends!


To find your course pore, daily,

Over the Chart.


Make it a straight course, keeping

Your eyes on the Star.


Pull together, balancing

Strength with strength.


Till, through God's grace, the trumpet

Sounds as your port is reached.